Today, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan People’s National Uprising Day. This day also marks the completion of 50 years, since His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Gadhen Phodang Government and scores of Tibetans were compelled to come into exile. At the outset, I pay my obeisance and reverence to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the supreme leader of world peace for His august presence. I also pay my respect to and seek the attention of the eminent Lamas of all traditions led by the Sakya Dhaktri Rinpoche, the venerated Sangha, former and serving dignitaries of the three organs of the Tibetan Government in Exile and the autonomous bodies, former and serving government officials, leaders of the non-governmental organizations, teachers, students, all the general public who have gathered here and especially our Chinese guests and Italian guests, who have traveled a long way to be with us here today and of course the Press.
We pay tribute to the courageous patriots of Tibet who have sacrificed their lives and belongings for the cause of Tibet in the last 50 years. We also express our appreciation and solidarity with all those brave ones who continue to suffer sleepless nights and immense difficulties under brutal suppression and imprisonment on one pretext or the other. May all those who lost their lives be led to the path of enlightenment under the guidance and care of almighty Avaloketeshwara.
The People’s Republic of China has in the past 50 years carried out extremely harsh and rigid policies on Tibet in total contradiction to the aspiration of the Tibetan People. The so called white paper entitled ‘Fifty Years of Democratic Reform in Tibet’, published on 2nd of March this year is far from the truth and is yet another attempt to mislead the international community. According to verified information that we have collected, since 10 March 2008, minimum of 219 Tibetans have been confirmed killed, 6705 arrested, 1294 injured, 286 given harsh sentences for varied terms, and many others have been reported missing. Moreover, this year fearing the possibility of extensive protests in Tibet than last year, the Chinese government has increased the deployment of armed troops in all the three provinces of Tibet. Suppressive measures like ‘strike hard on the separatist forces of Dalai clique’, conducting military maneuvers in the form of intelligence gathering, enforcing curfew and patriotic reeducation in monasteries are all indication of enforcing virtual Martial Law. The Tibetans were forced to celebrate the Tibetan New Year with much more pomp and gaiety than earlier through various means despite the fact that thousands of Chinese and Tibetans lost their lives in the 2008 earthquakes and death of hundreds of Tibetans due to the crackdown. As usual there was no show of concern over the loss of human life. In addition, the devious plan by the so called Regional People’s Congress of the so called Tibet Autonomous Region passed resolution to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the emancipation of one million serfs and democratic reform in Tibet with pomp and fanfare. All these are evidence of the grave situation inside Tibet that is discernable to the whole world.
Instead of initiating reforms for the benefit of Tibetans and building a harmonious society based on Hu Jintao’s mantra of scientific approach to development through harmony, stability and unity of different nationalities to build the nation, the above mentioned policies designed to humiliate and oppress the Tibetans will further alienate the Tibetans and will in no way contribute to a harmonious society. Moreover, China had neither mentioned nor acknowledged military crackdown on peaceful Tibetan protesters in 2008 in its Annual country report on human rights submitted to the United Nations’ Human Rights Council but also refused to accept the report on Tibet presented by the human rights Troika on torture. All these prove China’s total disregard for the world community by flexing her economic and military muscles, even in the 21st century.
Within the past fifty years Tibetans inside Tibet have carried out numerous peaceful and non-violent campaigns. Particularly, since 10 March 2008, Tibetan people have shown their courage and determination by carrying out many peaceful protests throughout the three provinces of Tibet. Even today Tibetans inside Tibet are carrying out resistance movements using high level of non-violent methods. Lest the Tibetans in exile fail in our endeavor, the grit, determination, courage and sincerity of the Tibetans inside Tibet are self evident from their recent initiatives.
During the oppressive rule of China in the last 50 years, Tibetans both inside and outside Tibet have undertaken many non-violent activities some of which have been very successful and some not. Therefore, it is the time now to reassess and learn from our past experiences to strategically plan constructive activities and carry them out with non-violent discipline and unity. While implementing future programs, we must remain committed and we must at all times adhere to our basic principle of non-violence till our issue is resolved. Another important aspect is to abide by the Tibetan New Year message of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to ensure that our actions do not breed mistrust and antagonism between the people of Tibet and China. In addition, based on the resolutions of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and the recommendations of the 2008 special meeting, whatever pragmatic political stand that His Holiness maintains considering the dynamics of the international political scenario, we should all voluntarily follow it whole-heartedly in unity that will without any doubt contribute to a speedier resolution of the Tibetan issue.
The steadfast position of the Tibetans in Tibet and the tireless efforts of His Holiness the Dalai Lama have resulted in growing international support for the Tibet issue that is based on truth. The presence of our Chinese friends here today, who have traveled long distances, is also an indication of the growing support from the Chinese people.
The Tibetan government in exile under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama has made earnest and enduring efforts to resolve the Sino-Tibetan problem that is mutually beneficial. However, the issue still remains unresolved due to the lack of concrete and constructive response from the Chinese leadership. The whole responsibility for the deadlock rests with the Chinese leadership. If China is sincere about resolving the Tibetan issue, they must take it up in the ongoing meetings of the Chinese People’s Congress and the Political Consultative Conference to discuss and decide on ways to fulfill the aspiration of the Tibetan people.
Sustaining the Tibetan communities in exile is directly related to furthering the cause of Tibet. Towards this end, promoting a healthy system of education, political awareness, strengthening democratic polity at the grassroots, sustainable development of the settlements and prevention of dispersal of the communities are extremely essential. For that purpose, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile in a departure from the past, have allocated territorial constituencies for members to visit their respective constituencies at least twice a year. The members have been notified to this effect.
We take this opportunity to convey our heartfelt gratitude to the Government and people of India and all our supporters worldwide for their consistent support. And we look forward to your continued support in future.
To conclude, may His Holiness the Dalai Lama live for eternity for the sake of all living beings and may all His wishes be fulfilled. We also pray for the speedy resolution of the Tibetan Issue.
10th March 2009